TNC Media Update

'Grampa' Al Lewis

By Nora Callahan, Executive Director, November Coalition
In June, Paul Lewin and I were in New York City for meetings and to stand with New Yorkers that meet each week to protest the Rockefeller Drug Laws at Rockefeller Center. That is where we met our "Grampa" in person for the first time. We knew him already; most of us grew up with him while watching the TV series The Munsters. We knew that he was actively opposing the drug laws, we knew that he cared about our plight, but the depth of his passion for prisoners is something that was profoundly evident after spending just a few moments with him.

Every Friday at noon, he and Randy Credico lead the "Vigil to End the Rockefeller Drug Laws" that is sponsored by the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice.

Before we left the meeting, Grampa invited us to be guests on his WBAI radio show (99.5 FM) the following day, an offer that we accepted straight away.

Requests for The Razor Wire are pouring into Grampa's mailbox and are being forwarded to our office. Al Lewis and his wife, Karen would like to ask prisoners to send them any messages that you would like to have them read over the air, or placed on audio files on their website. To do this simply send your message to:

'Grandpa' Al Lewis
PO Box 227
New York, NY 10044

If you do not want your name used over the air, be sure to note that in your letter. If you want them to use your name, give Grampa and Karen permission to do so.

Playboy Magazine, June 1999

An excerpt from the Playboy Forum article Snitch Culture



 The only way to avoid the maximum was to turn on your confederates (or almost anyone else you could finger as a drug dealer) and provide 'substantial assistance' to narcotics officers.

Federal prosecutors have an overwhelming conviction rate in such cases, prompting Nora Callahan, an advocate for drug war prisoners, to note that "there are thousands of people sitting in prison because of bought testimony alone, with no other evidence against them. It's an affront to justice, and to humanity itself. And it's important to remember that this could happen to anyone, to anyone's child."

Glamour Magazine: June 1999
On newstands in June,Glamour Magazine exposed the drug war. While American women took advice on 19 Hair Envy Eliminators, cellulite erasers, and were instructed on how to make a man worship the ground you walk on -- they also learned about a drug policy that has little to do with justice.

The cases of Amy Ralston Pofahl, Kemba Smith, Serena Nunn, Kellie Mann and Monica Boguille were detailed in a lenghty feature article.

"The Anti-Drug Abuse Act has drawn sharp criticism, largely because it penalizes low-level participants and drug users as harshly or-as in Amy Pofahl's case-more harshly than people guilty of running major drug operations."

Author David France explained conspiracy law, the overwhelming resentment of our federal judges toward mandatory sentencing, and refers to the women featured as "casualties of the drug war."

Redbook Magazine: June 1999

November Coalition's Susan Bobby, Judy Chancelor and Family Watch's Jennifer Daley and June Gertig spoke to Redbook readers about a Drug War gone awry. Under the headers "A Disease or a Crime?", "The Real Casualties of the Drug War", "The Value of a Life", "No More Secrets", our mothers spoke out within the context of their personal and tragic stories. Tessa DeCarlo authored a dramatic expose of mothers who had lost their addicted teenagers to prison and death.

"If I can't say who I am, then I'm encouraging the stigma surrounding addiction instead of fighting it," June Gertig is quoted. "People need to know that when they talk about addiction, they are talking about my family and people like us."